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Third to be eliminated from the competition was Monique, who filled out the season’s irrational diva slot...with just a touch of crazy to keep things interesting. Monique will always be remembered as “the girl who wasn’t above using intimate articles of clothing to make her feelings known.” But the drama couldn’t last, and her failure to complete a photoshoot put her in a vulnerable spot with the judges. In this interview -- which despite what you might think, was conducted with a lot of laughter on both sides -- Monique tells us what she thought of her fellow contestants, and why she just wouldn’t get off the ever-lovin’ phone.
Hi Monique, it’s good to talk to you this morning.
It’s nice talking to you too!
Were you a fan of the show? Had you seen any of the previous cycles?
Yeah, I did, but I wasn’t a religious person to it, you know. Just every once in a while when I had free time.
Who did you see as your biggest competition - who was the girl to beat?
On the show? (laughs) Honestly, as far as model-wise, I don’t feel I had any competition.
So can you tell me how the fight over the phone came about? Were you surprised when you saw the episode?
It was definitely a surprise for me to see that on the episode. To see how they put it together was hilarious. Actually, the day before that day, I had walked down to use the confessional, and Melrose was in there. I asked her if I could use it for a few minutes because something had just happened and I wanted to talk really quick, and she was like, “No!” and slammed the door in my face. So I was like, “Okay.” So the next day I get into the phone booth, and five minutes into my phone call with my mom, and she was like, “I need to use the phone.” And I was like, “Well, you’re going to have to wait because remember what you did to me yesterday. You just have to wait. ”
And that’s when she got really mad. She goes and tells girls all kinds of stuff about how she needs to pay her rent, whatever. That’s when they all came up and tried to hang up the phone, and that’s when I got mad because I was on the phone with my mom, and that’s disrespectful. Now you’re hanging up the phone on my mother, and that’s not cool. So that’s how I got to the point of “you mess with me, now I’m going to give you something to mess with.” That’s why I stayed on the phone for four hours. (laughs)
When you saw yourself on TV wiping your bikini bottoms on another girl’s bed, what went through your head?
It’s definitely different from the way I remember it because when I was doing it –- you know, in my family, we all play around. We’re all playful, and we used to run around the house and clown around with each other, and to me this was just playing around. I didn’t see it as being bad, so when I saw it on TV, I was like, “Oh, my God!” It was actually funny to me, though. It was funny! It was a joking thing that was taken overboard, you know?
Were you close to anyone in the house?
The closest I got to was Eugena, and Brooke and Jaeda.
What is your impression of Eugena?
I think she’s cool. I think she’s very level-headed, and she has a desire to be a model.
What about Jaeda?
Well, she’s cool, I just don’t know if she really wants to model.
Did Amanda and Michelle stick together as one unit in the house?
They were always together. Even when they didn’t try they did things alike and they didn’t even notice it; and we were like, “Okaaay.” Yeah, it was starting to irritate a lot of us girls because we were like, “We don’t get to have a friend or a sister here to be on our side and have our back.” So it became irritating after a while.
What do you think about Melrose?
Ugh, that monster. (laughs) All I have to say about her is she needs to learn to control her own life and stop trying to control others. She was trying to be a mama and an Indian chief. Just stop, please.
Do you think her age is a factor in how she acted?
I honestly don’t think her age should be a big factor. She’s only 23, like, that’s not a huge difference from us, that’s not a big gap. I think she tries to make it into something bigger. She tries to act like she’s a 30-year-old for no reason. We were looking at her like, “What’s wrong with you?” She has a 30-year-old boyfriend and she thought she was Miss Grown Lady, the oldest lady ever. (laughs)
What about Anchal?
Her problem is that she’s young, and she’s naïve. She allows someone to tell her something and she just went off on that instead of trying to find out for herself the truth behind it. To me that shows a lack of maturity. Just following people and being naïve about things.
It’s hard to talk to you about your performance on the show because so much of your screen time was wrapped up in the house drama. How did you feel you performed in the show challenges?
I know! Well, definitely the first challenge, which was the runway walk, I know I killed it. It was the best feeling, probably, in the whole time I was on the show. And then not to partially not be able to win it because of the earring made me mad; I was like, “No!” But it was okay. But the other challenge – getting kicked off the elevator was not cool. The photoshoots I thought they were really good. The makeover one, and the nude one – those were really nice. Whenever I see the one with that trophy on my head, I feel like there could have been a better picture that wasn’t picked. Because I’ve modeled before; I know how I look, I know how my poses look. For me to see that pose in the picture, I was like, “Wow.” I know I had a better shot.
So you think you had a better shot they didn’t choose? I’ve heard that so many times in these interviews. Do they talk to you about why they choose one shot over another?
They don’t say. It’s probably their own personal reasons. I can hypothesize all day, but I’m not sure.
Do you regret not staying on that day and completing the photo shoot?
I don’t regret it because my body absolutely positively could not do it. Mentally I wanted to be there, and it was hurtful to want to do it and not be able to do it. But my body was like, “Are you crazy? You’re going to kill yourself.” It was very physical. Once the girls came back and told me about it, I was like, “There’s no way I could have done that.” I would have been superwoman for real, that would have been the best thing ever done on Top Model, some girl sick with dehydration and to be able to do that. That’s crazy.
Do you think you were eliminated because you didn’t have a photo that day, or was it for other reasons?
I definitely feel it was because I didn’t have a photo for them to critique. It is a competition, and you have to give them something. If you don’t, what do they have to judge you on? And also, I was dead. I was drained. My body was so dead and drained that I had nothing to give. I couldn’t even give them drama for the show, or anything like that. I think that’s what it came to.
Who do you hope wins the competition now?
I have to say Eugena and Brooke. The only reason I say that is because when I talked to them, they seemed like they really wanted to be there for modeling. Like Brooke, she gave up her prom to be there. Eugena has wanted to do this for a while and has tried different things, has tried out for different shows, and she wants to get into modeling. To me that shows they want to be there. Jaeda told me that if she gets cut she’s going to go home and have kids. I was like, “What?” Why would you just waste such a big thing like this?”
How would you describe your look?
I know for sure that I have a commercial look. I do have edge, and I can pull off high-fashion, it’s just putting me in that area for me to be able to perform it.
Are you sticking with the look they gave you in the makeover?
It’s kind of the same except that instead of a black my hair is more of a dark brown. It’s kind of the same, though.
What’s ahead for you, Monique?
Runways, movies, TV shows -- all of the above. Acting and modeling, here I come!
Many thanks to Monique and CW for the interview.